Life in Poetry I: Early Memories

By Andrew R. Duckworth

Photo, photo editing, and poem by Andrew R. Duckworth
Memories begin on a Destin beach,
Miles of sand with gentle waves rushing,
Hundreds of people enjoying the midday sun,
And my father giving me the option of chips or a hotdog.
New Wave music echoes from some nearby beach shack
And I break away from the restraining arms of parents
To meet the crashing waves with a toddler's embrace
But my mind can't dwell in such a beautiful place...

A swing set among the small playground
Of a daycare that now more resembles a Hell.
An argument among toddlers, battling over the swing.
An ignorant child crossing the path of my oncoming feet
And his whining cries when the inevitable occurs.
And how the playground monitor looked
As she grasped me with menacing claws,
Holding me up to her hideous face
With rows of sharp, jagged teeth showing
And eyes of hatred piercing
Hell flames brightly glowing
A predator seizing its prey,
Mouth open wide as if to begin consuming.
She would consume a piece of my soul that day,
Beating me ruthlessly with hands of fire,
A demon sucking out young life,
A child discovering the difficult truth
That not all adults can be trusted.
I cried at the trunk of a tree
With no one coming to my aid.
My parents noticed the change in my mood
And sought to make other daytime arrangements.
But no words from me would calm their fears,
A secret kept for fifteen years.

I was told some time ago that I should write about my life, something that I absolutely HATE doing. So much of my life I look back on with either pain billowing in the mind or regret, and the rest is simply ordinary at best. There is nothing interesting or grand about my life. However, seeing as inspiration is not striking me at the moment, I decided to do just that but in poetic form. I decided to couple two events that happened to me when I was two, one which I vaguely remember and one that I can’t forget no matter how hard I try. I’ve never totally forgiven the daycare teacher that beat the living hell out of me when I was a toddler, and, honestly, I doubt I ever will. I only recently decided to stop putting blame on the child who prompted the daycare teacher to do what she did. It changed me from a small child who loved going up to complete strangers and starting conversations to a tiny child, afraid of everything, who would not approach anyone apart from my family if I was paid Bill Gates’s entire fortune to do so. I grew up not trusting adults in the least. They were all demons in my eyes, hiding behind a facade, monsters that were more than willing to devour the next person at the nearest opportunity that wore masks with smiles. Even to this day I have a hard time trusting people. If a person has earned my trust, which rarely happens, it comes over a matter of years, and is most definitely earned, not given. There will be more to follow.

This writing is the work of its author, Andrew Ryan Duckworth, and can in no way be reproduced, copied, or distributed in any form without request from the author.

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